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Cancun Adaptation Framework

Parties adopted the Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF) as part of the Cancun Agreements at the 2010 Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico (COP 16/ CMP 6). In the Agreements, Parties affirmed that adaptation must be addressed with the same level of priority as mitigation. The CAF is the result of three years of negotiations on adaptation under the AWG-LCA that had followed the adoption of the pdf-icon Bali Action Plan at the 2007 Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia (COP 13/ CMP 3).

A chronology provides an overview of all relevant negotiations, meetings and documents on the Cancun Adaptation Framework


The objective of the pdf-icon Cancun Adaptation Framework (paras 11-35) is to enhance action on adaptation, including through international cooperation and coherent consideration of matters relating to adaptation under the Convention. Ultimately enhanced action on adaptation seeks to reduce vulnerability and build resilience in developing country Parties, taking into account the urgent and immediate needs of those developing countries that are particularly vulnerable. At the Durban Climate Change Conference in November/ December 2011, Parties significantly advanced the implementation of the Framework.

The Cancun Adaptation Framework includes the following five clusters:

1. Implementation

  • All Parties to plan, prioritize and implement adaptation actions and to use existing channels to provide information on support provided and received for adaptation actions and on activities undertaken;
  • A process to enable LDC Parties - building upon their experience with the NAPAs - to formulate and implement national adaptation plans and an invitation to other developing country Parties to employ the modalities formulated to support those plans; 
  • work programme to consider approaches to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

2. Support

  • Developed country Parties to provide developing country Parties, taking into account the needs of those that are particularly vulnerable, with long-term, scaled-up, predictable, new and additional pdf-icon finance, technology, and capacity-building (paras 95-137) to implement adaptation actions, plans, programmes and projects at local, national, subregional and regional levels, including activities under the Cancun Adaptation Framework.

3. Institutions

  • At the global level:  establishment of an Adaptation Committee to promote the implementation of enhanced action on adaptation in a coherent manner under the Convention;
  • At the regional level:  strengthening and, where necessary, establishing regional centres and networks, in particular in developing countries;
  • At the national level:  strengthening and, where necessary, establishing and/or designation of national-level institutional arrangements.

4. Principles

  • Be undertaken in accordance with the Convention;
  • Follow a country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory  and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems;
  • Be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional and indigenous knowledge;
  • Be undertaken with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions.

5. Stakeholder engagement

  • Relevant multilateral, international, regional and national organizations, the public and private sectors, civil society and other relevant stakeholders are invited to undertake and support enhanced action on adaptation at all levels.
Decisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties at its eighteenth sessions: